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Activities

All Daily Activities are FREE with general admission

scientist with students

Scientist Saturdays

Discover current research and meet real scientists at Scientist Saturdays.

Learn more.

student with microscope

Science NOW!

Science Now is an interactive, hands-on look at current science news!

Learn more.

live hawk

Meet the Animals

Meet the furry, feathered, and scaly residents of the Academy.

Learn more.

Educator with students

Naturalist Presentations

Join our experienced Academy Educators as they explore natural history.

Learn more.

fossil prep lab

Fossil Prep Lab

Witness paleontology in action as real dinosaur fossils are prepared.

Learn more.

mantis

Live Invertebrate Cart

Get up close to the Academy's invertebrates.

Learn more.

Investigation Station

Visitors can ask open-ended questions, design experiments, manipulate variables, and use scientific tools.

Learn more.

student with microscope

Marty the Moose Storytimes

Marty the Moose, the Academy’s pun-ny four-legged storyteller, loves a good book and invites visitors to celebrate science and stories.

Learn more.

Close Encounters of the Wild Kind

Get face-to-face (or face-to-snout) with a live animal.

Learn more.

scientist with shells

Scientist Saturdays

1-4 p.m.
Select Saturdays
Location: Science Live, Outside the Auditorium

Discover current research and meet real scientists at Scientist Saturdays. See hands-on demonstrations of scientists’ exciting research and ask all the questions you want from 1 to 4 p.m. The program welcomes guests of all ages to interact with the scientists, who are happy to converse with you about their current research. Come back for new guests each month. Free with general admission. No registration required.

Upcoming Dates:

  • January 26, 2019
  • February 23, 2019
  • March 16, 2019
  • April 20, 2019
  • May 11, 2019
  • June 15, 2019

student with microscope

Science NOW!

10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Tuesday through Thursday
Location: Science Live, Outside the Auditorium

Science Now is an interactive, hands-on look at current science news! Each weekday from 10–2, visitors of all ages can find our enthusiastic volunteers ready to chat about news related to climate change, evolution, biodiversity and extinction, and water. Drop by for a brief activity or conversation! Free with general admission.

educator with hawk

Meet the Animals

Monday–Friday
11 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday
11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Location: Auditorium or Science Live
25–30 minutes
All ages welcome

Meet the furry, feathered, and scaly residents of the museum’s Live Animal Center, and explore their behaviors, adaptations, and ecosystems. The museum's Live Animal Center supports over 100 individual animal ambassadors and several colonies of invertebrates. Cared for by a team of full-time keepers, they make thousands of program appearances annually.

educator with butterflies

Naturalist Presentations

2:30 p.m. Weekdays

Natural science is full of surprises—from feathers and jewels to bugs, dinosaurs, fossils, and live animals! Join our experienced Academy Educators as they explore natural history in these informal and interactive presentations.

Mondays
Up Close With Live Butterflies
Location: Butterflies!

Meet us in our tropical butterfly exhibit! Get up close and personal with our living jewels. Our keeper will show you how we take care of our butterflies, and you may even be able to help us release a new butterfly into the exhibit.

Tuesdays
My Cousin, the Dinosaur
Location: Science Live, Outside the Auditorium

Meet a live dinosaur relative, and learn how dinosaurs still live among us.

Wednesday
How to Prepare a Fossil
Location: Fossil Prep Lab in Dinosaur Hall

How does a fossil get pulled out of the ground and eventually put on display in a museum like the Academy of Natural Sciences? Our Academy dinosaur experts will be on hand to guide you through the science behind one of the most iconic animals on the planet!

Thursdays
Bug Appétit Invertebrate Feeding
Location: Outside In

Join us for a feeding of our living invertebrates, including tarantulas and centipedes. With over 1,000 bugs in our live collection, you never know who might be hungry during your visit.

Fridays
Training an Animal
Location: Science Live, Outside the Auditorium

Talk to our keeper staff as they demonstrate designing enrichment and training programs for our animals. Meet some of our live animals too!

fossil prep lab

Fossil Prep Lab

If you want to see paleontology in action, check out the Academy's Fossil Prep Lab. You can watch as our staff, volunteers, and other skilled workers prepare fossils for study by scientists from other research institutions. In the photo to the left, for example, you can witness preparator Jean Caton working on a vertebra (backbone) of an Apatosaurus for the Carnegie Museum.

Fossil Prep Lab staff often work closely with research paleontologists. Jason Poole is currently working with fossils from Montana/Wyoming, brought back from an expedition alongside the Bighorn Basin Paleontological Institute.

The Fossil Prep Lab is located in the back of Dinosaur Hall on the Main Floor, behind the staircase. Watch our staff work, and if you want, ask them questions. They will be glad to answer.

mantis

Live Invertebrate Cart

Get up close to the Academy's coolest, creepiest crawlies at our Invertebrate Tech Cart! See close-up details through a high powered microscope, examine and touch live bugs, ask an expert and more! Our Invert Cart runs seasonally and for special events. For Summer 2018 through early 2019, it will run on Tuesdays and Sundays. Check at the admissions desks to find out if the cart is out on the day of your visit!

Investigation Station 

Investigation Station

December Investigation Station
Fridays and Saturdays
11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Location: Moose diorama
Ice, Ice Baby

Join us for Investigation Station, a drop-in activity where visitors can ask open-ended questions, design experiments, manipulate variables and use scientific tools. This December, chill out with us and learn what's cool about ice.

The Academy is home to scientists researching topics such as biodiversity, climate change and evolution. The Investigation Station provides an opportunity for visitors to practice and experiment with the tools and processes of our research. Activities may include designing and constructing packaging to transport fossils from the field, making slime or learning to preserve a butterfly. Topics at the station rotate monthly. Science Facilitators spark excitement, curiosity and an appreciation for science.

Coming up in January, Animal Architects.

Marty 

Marty the Moose Storytimes

Marty the Moose loves nothing more than a story time spent entertaining the crowds with his terrible jokes and goofy sense of humor. Join Marty and his favorite humans to hear a special story and meet a live animal.

Marty’s Story Time
Every Monday at 11 a.m.
Free with admission

Laugh along with Marty the Moose as he shares his favorite books. Join Marty, his favorite humans, and a live animal guest for this special story time. Pick up a copy of Marty’s Book Club choice each month the gift shop and Marty will sign it for you!

educator with lizard

Close Encounters of the Wild Kind

Thursdays
12:30 p.m. African Hall
3:30 p.m. North American Hall

Get face-to-face (or face-to-snout) with a live animal, and chat with an Academy keeper as we bring the dioramas to life.